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Life of a Lineman: A Current of Education

Posted on 2/17/2016


At Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), becoming a lineman is an arduous journey; one that tests physical strength and continues to encourage its linemen to never stop learning and put safety first. It’s hard to imagine the successes and failures one may endure throughout Line School at IPL, and tough lessons along the way may be why linemen possess a camaraderie in brotherhood and understanding of each other’s experiences. Every lineman has a different story to tell, but there’s one commonality shared between all of them: a current of education.


On April 27, 1994, IPL obtained a certified line school program via the U.S. Department of Labor. It is with this foundation that IPL’s current line school is built upon. A lineman is referred to as an “apprentice” until he completes his apprenticeship. Apprentices complete a rigorous curriculum from classroom training to extensive “on-the-job” training for four years, or until 8,119 hours of training are completed. Day in and day out, apprentices learn skills, such as:

  • Pole Climbing
  • CPR/Rescue Procedures
  • Bucket Truck Rescue
  • Pole Top Rescue
  • Pole Maintenance
  • Electrical Safety
  • Transmission Safety
  • Grounding

When an apprentice completes all necessary training federally mandated by the U.S. Department of Labor and passes his “Journeyman Test,” then he is considered a Journeyman Lineman. With safety always on the forefront of our business, Journeyman Lineman return to school annually to ensure proper protocol is followed when performing tasks deemed as high risk in the field. When safety is put first, there is a reduced risk of errors, harm to equipment, and most importantly, a reduced risk of harm to our employees, customers and general public.

Linemen are constantly adapting to updated safety measures, learning new methods, and committed to ensuring power quality and reliability so the Indianapolis community can depend on IPL to keep the lights on. Keep checking back on our linemen series to learn more about the “Life of a Lineman.”

Written by: Claire Dalton, Social Media Community Manager
Multimedia by: Tyler Przybysz, Graphic Design Administrator
Subject Matter Expert: David Baldwin, Safety Training Administrator and Nick Hutchinson, Transmission & Distribution Safety Program Developer

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